Police Safety Risks

First published 19 Nov 2015

From the Daily Maverick

GroundUp: Masiphumelele will get a police station once it’s safe

By GroundUp

The South African Police Service and the City of Cape Town are discussing a site for a satellite police station. In the meantime the community of Masiphumelele would be serviced by a mobile station. By Thembela Ntongana for GROUNDUP.

Masiphumelele residents, who have been promised a new mobile police station, will have to wait until the police decide it is safe to install it. South African Police Service (SAPS) Provincial Head of Communication, Brigadier Novela Potelwa, told GroundUp that a mobile Community Service Centre (CSC) had been arranged for Masiphumelele, but its installation was delayed by “two incidents that occurred on Sunday (8 November) that resulted in a police vehicle being burnt down, and another incident where a body of an unidentified man was found burnt in the area.

“The SAPS is doing a security assessment of the situation in the area as a means of determining when it would be safe to place the mobile CSC in Masiphumelele,” said Potelwa.

LivewireSA comment. Heaven forbid that the police should have to go into an area that is unsafe. It reminds me, in reverse circumstances, of complaints in the UK that it was unfair to have police stationed outside pubs looking for drunken drivers. It seems that uninhabited areas were more appropriate. Also the complaints of US police that they can’t do their job anymore because as soon as they get out of their cars people stand there with cellphone cameras. Sort of reminds me of how one feels when you have a police car driving behind you, but why should police have to put up with this as though they were supposed to comply with tedious regulations.

Meanwhile security cluster ministers have complained that certain areas, especially on the Cape Flats, are reporting no crimes but that when they built police stations there, thinking they would be out of harm’s way, they encounter people breaking the law and have to close the stations, at a substantial loss to the fiscus. This explains the number of shacks with flashing blue lights and the rumour that JZ was again in the townships looking for a new wife.

Perhaps we will see the police saying they can no longer protect the parliamentary precincts because of students waving their hands at them, especially ones who aren’t prepared to lie still on the ground so they can be shot. Or even better the police only operate from satellite stations – “er Houston, I see trouble in the Parliamentary precincts, do you copy. PS Please send shuttle with doughnuts, and not the Checkers ones again”


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